Author Topic: Northern Fury 9.1: Eisenhower Moves North - a CMANO AAR  (Read 7142 times)

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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 9.1: Eisenhower Moves North - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2016, 08:33:46 PM »
Aboard the Sierra-II class submarine Pskov, Captain Matros had listened to the updates from his sonar operators as they reported the sound of missiles launching on bearings to the NATO escort ships. His hopes had soared momentarily when the chief sonarman had reported four rapid-fire explosions from the carrier’s bearing, but they had quickly realized that these must have been outbound defensive missiles rather than missile impacts. Matros had waited pensively a few minutes more, hoping to hear the impact of one of Voronezh’s missiles, but in the end there had been silent.

Disappointed but not deterred, Matros had gone back to directing his approach towards the enemy ships. At the very least he was counting on the missile attack to have diverted the American defenses long enough for him to get close enough for his own attack on the carrier. Pskov quietly glided west, using the thermocline  layer to mask her sounds.

-----

“Well,” Admiral Grundal said testily to the ASW commander over the ship-to-ship radio, “I don’t care if you never identified it. That lost contact to our east was too close for comfort. You need to re-establish contact and either confirm or deny that it is a threat.”

“Roger, sir,” responded the captain over the net, “all I’m saying is that we never got a good fix on it before the missile attack. We had a decent bearing but no range. The area we have to search is much larger than id’s like, in addition to being too close to Ike.”

“What assets do you have assigned to the mission?” asked the admiral.

“Right now, sir, I have two helos and an S-3 combing the area. The Detroit group is close enough now, it would be helpful if we could pull one of their birds onto this as well.”

The admiral considered, then said, “Done. I’ll also call the P-3 down from up north to assist you. That Oscar that attacked us had help, and my gut says there’s a Russian attack sub out there that was providing it. Stay on it! Grundal out.”

-----

Several dozen miles north of Ike, the crew of the P-3 with call sign Tridents Four-One received their orders to suspend the sweep north along the course of the advancing carrier and take up station to the flattop’s east. The pilot immediately banked and settled onto a southeasterly course.

Already performing a complicated dance in the anticipated area of the lost contact, one US and one Portuguese helicopter were taking turns dipping their sonar into the water, listening, and then moving to a different spot to repeat the process. Further out, the crew of the S-3, Checkmates Three, was dropping some of its limited supply of buoys. Their pattern of operation was intended to start on the outside limit of where the contact could be and then work inwards.

Checkmates Three was just banking after having dropped a buoys when the tech in the back called over the intercom, “Hey captain, I just had something peg the needle on the MAD gear. Wasn’t very strong and I almost missed it. Can you come back around over the same spot.”

“Sure thing,” the pilot responded, continuing his turn until it was a complete circle.

A moment later he heard, “Madman, madman! Positive contact!” over the intercom. Instinctively he released smoke and banked to come around again. It was certainly unusual to get a MAD contact hearing it. He checked his position, and his jaw clamped.

“Ok,” said the pilot. “Listen up. Whoever this is, they’re barely thirteen miles from Ike. That’s too damn close. I’m bringing us back around. I want two buoys, a passive one first and then an active one. We’ll try to straddle the contact. If we can identify we’ll come back around and drop on the next pass.”

Checkmates Three circled again and the pilot lined up with the smoke he had dropped moments before. As he overflew it he called, “Drop now! Now!”

Two cylinders fell from the S-3s belly and splashed down into the water. The first one descended to  its assigned depth and began listening. The second one sank as well, but its function was different...

-----

“Captain!” called the lead sonarman aboard Pskov, “High pitch pinging to our front! It sounds like an aerial buoy!”

Matros’ jaw clenched. An active buoy meant they had found him somehow. He needed to close the range with the carrier quickly now. His torpedoes could cover twelve miles at fifty knots, but launching at extreme range would allow the American warship to outrun the fish. “Helm, turn twenty degrees right and increase speed to ten knots!”     

-----

“I have a definite contact on Active One,” called the S-3 crewman. “Appears to be on a northwesterly course...Passive Four coming online...I have screw noises...definite SSN...you’re sure it’s not one of ours, sir? This guy is quiet.”

“Boston and Albuquerque are supposed to be far to our north. No other NATO SSN’s are supposed to be operating in this area. We’ll come back around and drop two more passive buoys to try to get an ID.”

“Aye, sir,” acknowledged the tech.

The pilot checked his chart. Twelve miles to Ike. Too close. If that was a Russian and he had missiles...

Two minutes later two more buoys were in the water, and the two helos were standing by to assist but staying out of the way of the faster S-3. “Ok, sir,” said the tech, “I can confirm he’s not one of our boats. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s a Sierra.”

“You guess or are you sure?” asked the pilot, an edge creeping into his voice.

“Sure enough, sir,” the man said coolly. The pilot nodded.   

“Ok, we drop on him on the next pass.”

Checkmates Three came around again. This time when the Viking settled into its course a Mk46 torpedo dropped from the aircraft and into the water, directly behind the contact.

-----

“Captain!” Matros heard. He already knew what was coming next. “Torpedo in the water! directly astern! Range is very close!”

The captain slammed a fist into the navigation chart. He had been so close! Just a few minutes more and he could have launched a devastating spread of torpedoes. Could he still get there?

“Helm,” Matros ordered, “all ahead flank!”

-----

“He just hit the gas, sir,” came the report from Checkmate Three’s back seater. “Torp is closing...he just launched countermeasures...and impact!”

-----

The last thought Captain Matros had as the wall of cold water swept into the control room was “so close!”


Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 9.1: Eisenhower Moves North - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2016, 09:24:32 PM »
Goodbye Matros. I hardly knew you.  :buck2:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 9.1: Eisenhower Moves North - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2016, 07:06:15 PM »
Hey all, here's the conclusion. Nothing else much happened after I killed the Sierra. I guess the Brits up north had cleaned up pretty well. After this part below ended Ike's group continued north, rendezvoused with HMS Fort George, and detached Vicksburg to Brest without incident. I did shoot down a couple of Badger snoopers southeast of Iceland, but these didn't amount to anything later. This one was really a blast to play if anyone is interested. Lots more going on than what I wrote up. Thanks for reading. Hope to get to NF 9.2: Changing of the Guard, this week!

----- 


Admiral Grundal breathed a sigh of relief as the replenishment Ship USS Detroit pulled alongside Mighty Ike. The run-in with the Sierra and that Oscar had been too close for comfort. Vicksburg’s magazines had been nearly empty and he had not been confident about his ability to repel even one more missile attack. Now, in the gray light of dawn, he could look out over the top of Detroit and see the comforting knifelike shape of USS Arleigh Burke surging forward to take Vicksburg’s place as primary air defense ship. The new destroyer’s magazines were not as deep as the Ticos, but at this moment they were full, and full missile tubes trumped empty ones any day of the week.

Also with Detroit and Arleigh Burks had come the older nuclear-powered cruiser USS Virginia, the Perry-class frigate de Wert, and the Spanish frigate Numancia. This is starting to look like a real battle group again, thought the admiral. The formation was in the process of transitioning from a column formation to a more traditional circular one with the carrier at the center.

Grundal looked down to see fuel hoses being passed over the short void separating Detroit from Ike. The aviation fuel from the replenishment ship was welcome. Even more so were the air-to-air weapons being ferried over in sling loads by Detroit’s two UH-46D Sea Knight helicopters. Eisenhower’s air-to-air magazines had been almost as low as Vicksburg’s SAM inventory. Big Phoenixes, little Sidewinders, brand new AMRAAMs, all made the trip over in their packaging crates slung under the twin rotor choppers. 

The admiral knew he couldn’t relax yet. Replenishment was a period of vulnerability for the carrier as his flight operations were curtailed to speed the resupply. But if he could just hang on for the few hours it would take to top off his stores, then his other Tico, USS San Jacinto would have caught up, and he could send Vicksburg to Brest to refill her VLS tubes. Even better, he would get his squadron of F-18s back from Rota, where they were even now finishing their upgrades to be able to fire the wonderful new AMRAAMs that everyone up north was raving about. Even better, another squadron of Hornets was even now inbound from Norfolk, getting ready to tank over the central Atlantic. If they could hold on for just a few more hours the admiral knew he would have a fully assembled carrier battle group with which to go after Iceland. Based on the reports coming from Enterprise, he was going to need it.

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 9.1: Eisenhower Moves North - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2016, 09:00:01 PM »
Looking forward to the next one AR.  O0
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Online mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 9.1: Eisenhower Moves North - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2016, 09:05:20 PM »
To quote a line from Clancy's Red Storm Rising, "Bloody Hell".  :D
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Offline Commander Cody

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Re: Northern Fury 9.1: Eisenhower Moves North - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2016, 02:48:23 AM »
Just read this and your last AAR, AR. Once again, it's Clancy-esque. The only negative is playing these scenarios would be anti-climactic.

Cheers,
CC

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 9.1: Eisenhower Moves North - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2016, 06:40:58 AM »
Thanks for the kind words, CC. I disagree bout the scenarios, though. Gunner has put a lot of irk into making them chllenging and emersive And I can't possible write up everything that's going on, especially for the bigger ones.